Ramaphosa and five African leaders due in Moscow and Kyiv early June for peace talks

Stock image of Russian and South African presidents.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and President Cyril Ramaphosa attend a signing ceremony on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, in 2018. File picture: Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters

Published May 18, 2023


Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa and his five counterparts from the continent will travel early in June to Moscow and Kyiv on a peace mission.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine have agreed that Ramaphosa and leaders from Senegal, Egypt, Zambia Uganda and Congo-Brazzaville travel to both capitals in Europe for peace talks.

Director-general in the Department of International Relations Zane Dangor said UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres had fully supported the peace mission by the African leaders.

The US has also backed the initiative by the six African leaders, said Dangor.

Ramaphosa said early this week that he had contacted both Putin and Zelensky at the weekend where he made the proposal on behalf of the African leaders.

Both Putin and Zelensky agreed to the initiative that has been in the making for months.

Russia has just extended the Black Sea grain deal for another 60 days. Ukraine has been shipping millions of tonnes of grain to Africa and other parts of the world suffering from food insecurity.

The deal would allow for the delivery of the needed grain in Africa.

Dangor, who was briefing the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on international relations this week, said Ramaphosa would leave for Moscow and Kyiv in early June.

“On the peace mission by African heads of state I can confirm that our President Ramaphosa has made contact with Zelensky and Putin and they have agreed to meet both heads of state sometime in June. The date will be in early June where these six heads of state will be shuttling between the two capitals (Moscow and Kyiv) to engage in facilitating the peace talks or at least get towards a ceasefire.

“This initiative has been shared with the UN secretary-general, who has also expressed support. We have also engaged with others such as the US and there is general support for this initiative that Ramaphosa announced,” said Dangor.

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